A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows 24% of adult Kyians are concerned about losing health insurance

The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found one in four (24%) of insured Kentucky adults ages 18 to 64 are concerned about losing health coverage within the next year. In Northern Kentucky, fewer residents are concerned about losing coverage (14%). However, more Northern Kentucky residents (26.1%) said they were not insured at the time of the poll than those statewide (14.6%). Participation...

Bevin sues in federal court in Frankfort to get lawsuit over Medicaid changes heard in Kentuky

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The legal maneuvering over changes to Medicaid in Kentucky escalated Monday, as Gov. Matt Bevin sued the national groups and Kentuckians who had sued the Trump administration over its approval of the changes Bevin wanted. The first suit was filed in federal court in Washington. It did not name Bevin or his subordinates as plaintiffs, apparently because he has said a...

SUN Behavioral Health 197-bed hospital in Erlanger completed, will begin to accept new patients in May

By Mark Hansel NKyTribune managing editor Two years to the day after ground was broken, the ribbon was cut to officially open SUN Behavioral Health hospital in Erlanger Monday. St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO Garren Colvin (holding scissors), joins SUN Behavioral Health officials and community stakeholders Monday in cutting the ribbon at the just-completed facility in Erlanger (photos by Mark Hansel). The...

Smart Health: Don’t ignore heart attack symptoms — Phil Dietz knew better but he lived to talk about it

Phil Dietz has an endless list of jobs — Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Director for Independence Fire Department, flight paramedic, cardiac life support educator, Vice President of Kentucky Ambulance Provider Association, and youth football coach. When he was having the classic heart attack symptoms — he ignored them. At only 39, Phil felt it was too early to start worrying about a heart attack,...

AG Beshear announces grants to nonprofits, public agencies to combat child sexual abuse

Attorney General Andy Beshear invites Kentucky nonprofits and public agencies that can offer effective programs to combat child sexual abuse to apply for Child Victims’ Trust Fund grants. Applications for statewide and regional prevention grants are accepted until March 30. The grants will be awarded for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018, and ends June 30, 2019. The mission of the Child...

Opioid makers paid millions to advocacy groups that promoted their painkillers amid addiction epidemic

By Matthew Perrone and Geoff Mulvilhill Center on Public Integrity Companies selling some of the most lucrative prescription painkillers funneled millions of dollars to advocacy groups that in turn promoted the medications’ use, according to a report released recently by a U.S. senator. The investigation by Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill sheds light on the opioid industry’s ability to shape...

Opioid Crisis at a Glance: National Institute for Health Care Foundation shows 4.6 deaths hourly in 2016

The National Institute for Health Care (NIHCM) Foundation has issued this infographic: “The Opioid Crisis at a Glance.”

Tobacco kills 8,900 Kyians a year; advocates say raising cigarette tax is a win for health, win for state

Tobacco use takes a deadly toll on Kentuckians, killing approximately 8,900 each year. Almost one-third of deaths from coronary artery disease are attributable to smoking and secondhand smoke. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by two to four times. Smoking can raise triglycerides, lower good cholesterol, increase the buildup of plaque, and make blood “sticky” and more...

Northern Kentucky Chamber Eggs ‘N Issues tackles the challenges of addiction in the workplace

Mark Hansel NKyTribune managing editor The topic for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Eggs ‘N Issues discussion Tuesday morning was addiction, which continues to be a scourge in our region and throughout the country. A panel that included (left to right) state Rep. Kim Moser, Dr. Teresa Koeller of St. Elizabeth Physicians Journey Recovery Center, Jamie Johnson, Director of Operations at...

KHIP: State’s adults favor tobacco-free schools; only 39% of school districts have tobacco-free policies

The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that nearly 9 in 10 adults (87%) favor schools adopting tobacco-free campus policies in their communities.  Support for tobacco-free school policies has been consistently strong — favored by 85% of Kentucky adults in 2015 and 84% in 2013. Northern Kentucky adults also voiced strong support with more than 92% favoring tobacco-free school...

Churches in Richmond become sites for syringe exchanges; want to be part of the solution

Kentucky Health News Two churches in Richmond become sites for syringe exchanges. “Both churches reported a very active drug scene in the area they are located and they thought it would be a good idea, and we did too, to be where the potential participants are,” Jim Thacker, public information officer for the health department, told Jonathan Greene of The Richmond Register. “With the expansion...

Smart Health: Why clinical trials are important, offering patients cancer treatments close to home

By Kristen Mees St. Elizabeth Healthcare St. Elizabeth Healthcare is at the forefront of cancer care in the Northern Kentucky area. Its dedicated Oncology Team consists of nine medical oncologists, three oncologic breast surgeons, two gynecologic oncology surgeons, three radiation oncologists and four oncology research nurses. The entire team participates in clinical trial research, offering patients...

Voters could get amendment limiting lawsuit awards, another limiting attorney fees in malpractice

The Kentucky General Assembly would be able to pass a law limiting the amount of non-economic damages that could be awarded in personal-injury and wrongful-death lawsuits, under a bill moving to a floor vote in the state Senate. The House may block the legislation, but a companion bill approved by another Senate committee Feb. 7 would limit the amount of attorney fees in medical-malpractice lawsuits...

It’s American Heart Month: Here are some tips for reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke

February is American Heart Month and the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) encourages Kentuckians to increase their levels of physical activity to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.   To get involved, use the hashtag #MoveWithHeart on social media to connect with others and search for posts about exercise, physical activity and improving...

New research shows the more time teenagers spend on smartphones, the less happy they are

New research shows that teenagers who spend a large amount of time on their smartphones are more likely to be unhappy, Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times. The study, by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Georgia, looked at data from the “Monitoring the Future” survey of more than 1 million eighth, 10th and 12 graders across the U.S to determine...